1955 Lancia Aurelia B56 ‘Florida’


1955 Lancia Aurelia B56 ‘Florida’

In 1955, Pininfarina and Lancia were aiming squarely at the American market with this Aurelia B56 ‘Florida’ showcar. With its unique size, shape and demeanor, the Florida was unlike anything Pinin Farina had made previously. At the time, it was the only Lancia powered by a V8 engine with four-wheel independent suspension.

At the forefront of the design was a daring front end with headlights built into the grill and auxiliary lamps where the headlights would normally appear. If anything, this distracted from the design’s exceptional proportions which included a sleek roofline, restrained compound curves, protruding fenders and a long front hood. These shapes were offset by a tasteful two-tone paint scheme that was separated by a chrome strip around the cabin.

The greenhouse was brightened by a wraparound windscreen with dogsleg A-posts and a pillarless 4-door setup that used suicide doors in the rear. Pininfarina were aiming for executive market so the interior was very well appointed with custom switches and handles, lush upholstery and an abundance of chrome.

Only four examples of this big Lancia were made: three in the 4-Door Berlina guise and a sole Coupe. Eventually the shape of these four show cars was used for the Lancia Flaminia Berlina.

1955 Lancia Aurelia B56 ‘Florida’

1955 Lancia Aurelia B56 ‘Florida’ 1955 Lancia Aurelia B56 ‘Florida’

In Detail

typeConcept / Prototype Car
built atItaly
coachbuilderPinin Farina
production4
engineV8
positionFront Longitudinal
aspirationNatural

Lancia Aurelia B53 Prices

1955 Lancia Aurelia B56 ‘Florida’

1952 Lancia Aurelia B53 Coupé by Allemano – sold for €100,800. This stunning Lancia was created especially for the 1953 Torino Motor Show. It is a one-off custom-bodied example matched to an already rare chassis of which fewer than 90 were produced. Its handsome style comes from the hands of Giovanni Michelotti, who worked for a number of design houses in addition to Allemano, most notably Vignale.

His design was brought to life by the panel beaters and craftsmen of Carrozzeria Allemano in Turin. Allemano also fabricated (and sometimes designed) bodies for Aston Martin, Ferrari, Fiat and Maserati. The bonnet and doors are made from aluminium, still an exotic metal in the 1950s and one that allows for a substantial weight savings. Unique styling features include twin air intakes flanking the grille and a dramatic profile that ends with dramatically sloping rear wings.

The rarity and significance of this Lancia warranted a total restoration of a highly original car. Period reviews of the Lancia B-Series coupés of the day noted the lovely outfitting of its interior, and although the rear seats were rather small for passengers, the front seats had plenty of room for taller drivers with good support during enthusiast driving. A present-day inspection of this particular car reveals a beautiful state of finish and detail. Chrome, glass and fabric materials present very well. The details on the doors and dash are as impressive and thoughtful as they were when the car impressed potential buyers at Torino.

Kept in an excellent state of running tune and offered with its original Italian registration plates, this unique 1952 Lancia Aurelia B53 Coupé by Allemano is ready for touring and display. Auction Source: 2010 RM Auctions Sporting Classics of Monaco

1955 Lancia Aurelia B56 ‘Florida’

1952 Lancia Aurelia B53 Coupé – sold for €71,156. This stunning Lancia was a display car created for the 1953 Torino Motor Show. It is a one-off custom-bodied car matched to an already rare chassis of which fewer than 90 were produced.

Its handsome style comes from the hands of Giovanni Michelotti. The prolific Michelotti worked for a number of design houses in addition to Allemano, most notably Vignale. Just this spring, Michelotti was honoured by his induction into the European Automotive Hall of Fame.

Michelotti’s design was brought to life by the panel beaters and craftsmen of Carrozzeria Allemano in Turin. Allemano also fabricated (and sometimes designed) bodies for Aston Martin, Ferrari, Fiat and Maserati. The bonnet and doors are made from aluminium, still an exotic metal in the 1950s. Its use accounted for a considerable reduction in weight and thereby improved performance of the two-litre V6 engine.

The elegant two-door, four-place coupé he created exudes conservative elegance. It also, however, shows expected Italian flair in the twin air intakes flanking the grille and in the striking black over blue colour scheme. The profile ends with dramatically sloping rear wings that help give the design a sporting flavour.

The rarity and significance of this Lancia warranted a total restoration of a highly original car. Inside, the period reviews of the Lancia B-Series coupés of the day noted that the rear seats are more suitable for carrying additional luggage than passengers. Reviewers also wrote that up front was amply sized and that the cloth fabric provided good grip to hold occupants in place during enthusiastic driving. A present-day inspection reveals a beautiful state of finish and detail. Chromes, glass and fabric materials present very well. The details on the doors and dash are as impressive and thoughtful as they were when the car impressed potential buyers at Torino.

Kept in an excellent state of running tune and offered with its original Italian registration plates, this unique 1952 Lancia Aurelia B53 Coupé by Allemano is ready for touring or display. Auction Source: 2009 RM Auctions’ Automobiles of London